Plasticine art

Create a hanging masterpiece using modelling clay and a recycled CD case.

By Designed by Leslie Ashton
Text by Jo Calvert

Make a fun kids craft from recycled CD cases

Small hands will have lots of fun shaping this colourful scene from modelling clay. And a recycled CD case provides the perfect setting. Before you start, cover your work surface with a plastic sheet to protect it, or work on a stiff sheet of glossy card stock, such as a magazine cover. Follow the instructions to make a similar picture, or fill in the background, then add your own bugs, flowers and birds.

You need:
• Clear plastic CD case
• Modelling clay in various colours
• .40 m narrow ribbon, cord, yarn or raffia, for hanging loop
• Tools, such as a fork, pencil, screwdriver, toothpick, textured stamp or piece of plastic (optional), for making grooves, dots and other impressions on the clay
• Child-safe scissors (optional)

To make:
1. Lay the case, face-up, with the hinge to the left-hand side if you are right-handed or to the right-hand side if you are left-handed, then open the lid.

2. After warming the clay in your hands to soften it, press thin layers of brown, light green and blue inside the case against the back to make a background of earth, grass and sky.

3. On your work surface, shape thin, curved strips of 3 or 4 colours side by side to make a rainbow, then press it onto the background. Shape 3 or 4 small balls of white, then press them on so they overlap one another and the top of the rainbow to make the clouds.

4. Shape 1 thin and 2 thick rolls of dark green, then press them on to make the daffodil stem and leaves. Shape 5 short, thick rolls of yellow and press them on at the tip of the stem to make the petals. Shape a small ball of orange, flatten it on your work surface, fold it over to make a funnel shape, then press the bottom onto the petals to make the trumpet. Shape a small ball of light brown and press it on to make the bulb, then shape 2 or 3 tiny rolls of white and press them on underneath to make the roots.

5. Shape a big ball of light green, then press it on so it overlaps the bottom of the rainbow to make a hill.

6. Finish the picture in the same way: Shape and press dark green strips for the scilla stems and white strips for the roots, dark blue strips for the cloud shadows, a pink strip for the worm and orange strips for the chick beak and legs. Shape a tiny blue ball for each scilla flower, flatten it on your work surface and shape or cut tiny petals, then press it on. Shape and press brown balls for the pebbles, yellow balls for the chick head, body, wing and tail, white balls for the eyes and black balls for the pupils. If you like, use a tool to make grooves, dots and textures as shown in finished picture.

7. Thread the ribbon in and out of the two holes at the top of the lid, then tie the ends together with an overhand knot to make a hanging loop, and close the case.

Hang it up, stand back and admire!

Designer's tips
• Make your picture in layers, working from the background up.
• Try closing the lid periodically to make sure the clay picture is flat enough so the closed lid won't squish it.
• If you like, you can draw your own picture on a blank piece of paper that's the same size as a CD case, then set the case on top and use the outlines of the drawing as guidelines for the clay.
• Blend two or more colours together to make another colour, such as red and white to make pink.
• Press on items such as googly eyes, feathers and beads.

Make more recycled art with these fun projects:
Make a recycled book lamp
Sew a recycled tote bag out of juice bags

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